Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Hillcrest Church Office
August 11, 2004

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Here is this week's WINNING WAYS . . . .

“God at the Movies”
by Tom Goodman

Don’t forget that we go to one service this week, August 15, at 10:45 a.m.!

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A movie can inspire us, make us laugh, make us face a past hurt we’ve buried, give us a new perspective, or make us angry.

In other words, talking about a movie with someone is a great place to start a conversation about God and his ways.


Oh, don’t get me wrong:  In addition to all the good things that films can do, they can also disappoint us.  In too many popular films, sex and violence and foul language assault our senses, while shallowness and predictability insult our intelligence.

But, as the poet said, “sometimes a light surprises.”  Sometimes a film will raise an issue in such a compelling way that it makes it easy for us to discuss that issue with others who’ve seen the film.  For example, moviegoers in the sixties got a new perspective on race by watching In the Heat of the Night (“They call me, MISTER Tibbs!”).  Watching Disney’s The Lion King reminded viewers of duty and responsibility.  In the midst of the paranoid delusions of John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, we left in awe of the astonishing—and transforming—love of his wife, Alicia.

Across the next few weeks, we’ll do a Bible study of the topics of some popular movies.  This Sunday we’ll begin the series by looking at how movies can start a conversation about God.  The Apostle Paul set the example for how to use the surrounding culture to launch such conversations.  If you want to do a little study in advance, read Acts 17:16-23.


Important Notes:

Send an E-Card!  The popular ventriloquist Dennis Lee will be at Hillcrest August 15 at 6:30 p.m.!  Tell your friends about it!  Send them an e-card at
Welcome to Herb Ingram!  Our church extended the call to Herb Ingram as our next Minister of Education, and he has accepted!  Herb will begin September 1st.  Our church has landed a real catch here:  Herb is known around town as the “Mister Sunday School of Austin,” a Sunday School consultant to over fifty churches, a writer of Sunday School material, and the long-time Education Minister at Bannockburn Baptist Church during their years of rapid Sunday School growth.  It’s exciting to have him at the helm of Hillcrest’s Sunday School—our largest and most important ministry program!
Leadership Breakfast:  Calling all leaders!  Our second annual Leadership Breakfast will be held THIS Saturday, August 14, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.  Your Ministry Staff will cook your breakfast, and we’ll look at some important information about the 2004-2005 church year.  We’ll introduce all leaders to the Purpose-Driven Life Campaign.  Child care will be provided through fifth grade for those who let us know you need it.  Let us know if you plan to come.  Call the church office at 345-3771 or send an e-mail to



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